Training the trainers for bicycle distribution in Malawi

With your generous funding, World Bicycle Relief is able to work directly with local communities to empower students with bicycles. And through the Bicycles for Educational Empowerment Program (BEEP), it’s the community that takes charge.

WBR’s Bicycle Supervisory Committees (BSCs) are made up of 12 members – including students – of the community where BEEP is being implemented. The BSC works together to select bicycle recipients, enforce beneficiary contracts and monitor the sustainability elements of the program, such as regular maintenance and availability of spare parts.

As part of the program, WBR hosts training sessions for individuals from the chosen communities. Six more will be held globally in 2017.

In July, WBR hosted Bicycle Supervisory Committee Capacity Building and Planning sessions in Liwonde, Malawi.

FHI 360, a nonprofit human development organization and a WBR partner, invited three individuals from each of the nine BSCs in the Zomba and Machinga districts. The goal: to train the trainers on how to facilitate BEEP at their local schools.

During the five-day training, the participants learned how to use and teach the provided “modules,” or steps, to develop local BEEP policy and program. The modules include direction on mechanic selection, beneficiary selection based on distance from schools, age and gender, as well as monthly management of spare parts, inventory and bookkeeping.

BSC Capacity Building and Planning training

BSC malawi training

BSC members model the formation of local BEEP policy on spare parts management. Among the questions addressed: Who manages spares at the school? How much should be paid from each beneficiary toward a spare starter kit? What happens if they cannot pay? Where is the money kept safely?

Malawi BSC training

Module 5 addressed roles and responsibilities. BSC members assigned expected responsibilities to various roles of the BSC members. For example, placing the responsibility of preparing the monthly report to the secretary, engaging local leaders around the security of the bicycles to the chairperson, or paying the mechanic to the treasurer.

Malawi BSC

In Module 6, BSC members complete a financial ledger to keep track of the community contributions toward maintenance and payments for mechanics and spare parts.

Malawi BSC

Participants learn how to use the Preventative Maintenance Checklist with their mechanics.

BSC training in Malawi

A team uses the “BSC Growth Chart.” The chart helps plan when they will train their other BSC members, select the beneficiaries and mechanic, set up a bank account, purchase the Spares Starter Kit from Buffalo Malawi, and distribute the bicycles at their school.

Malawi BSC training group

A total of 29 people participated in the training, with a visit from the Educational District Manager.

These participants will take the knowledge and experience they’ve acquired back to their local communities to help implement BEEP. And their experiences also will benefit future infrastructure. For each BEEP program that’s implemented, we have the opportunity to learn how our programs can improve. Conversations with end-users, field mechanics, teachers, dealers and partners all inform the improvements we make to our bicycle design, program design and aftermarket support systems.

You can continue to make a deeper impact in the communities where we work. Donate today to empower more students and strengthen a community’s bicycle infrastructure!

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